Rah rah rahThe New England Patriots are 3-7 after going...

Off the beat

November 17, 1991

Rah rah rah

The New England Patriots are 3-7 after going 1-15 last season, but they seem to have responded to the cheerleading style of Dick MacPherson, the former Syracuse coach who gives exuberant hugs to his assistants, his players and even the fiancees of his players.

Only once in the 10 games have the undermanned Patriots trailed by more than a touchdown going into the fourth quarter, an indication of their improved resilience.

MacPherson is satisfied, sort of.

"We wanted to re-establish that football is fun . . . and we got that done early. Then we started playing representative NFL football, but now we're frustrated because we don't have the wins, we keep coming up short. A 3-7 record just isn't good enough."

Payback time for Yankees

The New York Yankees drew criticism for their $1.55-million signing of high school pitcher Brien Taylor, the No. 1 pick in the June draft, but Taylor made an impressive debut in the Florida instructional league.

He gave up four earned runs in 16 innings, walked eight and struck out 27. His fastball was consistently clocked in the 94- to 98-mph range.

Said minor league coordinator Tony Cloninger: "He's got the loosest arm I can remember."

Bure and simple?

After a surreptitious departure from the Soviet Union, Valeri Bure needed a court order before he could join his older brother, Pavel, as a professional hockey player in North America.

Pavel plays for the Vancouver Canucks of the NHL. Valeri, 17, made his debut with the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League this week. The Bure brothers and their father left the Soviet Union in August, flew to Los Angeles and met with agent Ron Salcer, who arranged for Pavel to join the Canucks and Valeri to go on Spokane's protected list.

The Soviet Ice Hockey Federation released Pavel, but refused to the same for Valeri, who had to get an injunction to play for the Chiefs.

SG His reaction: "I'm happy to play. It has been a long time waiting."

The quote

Irwin Jacobs, a part owner of the Minnesota Vikings, on the acquisition by former general manager Mike Lynn of Herschel Walker for five players and several draft choices: "It will go down as one of the worst trades in the past, present and future history

of the NFL."

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